School actually begins for the boys next Thursday, the 20th. Yesterday though, we got to see the brand-spankin’ new high school that the younger boy will be attending. (The older boy, a Senior, will graduate from the same high school he’s been attending since Freshman year.)
We’ve been really excited to get into the doors of this new school ever since the school district distributed gorgeous, glossy architect’s renderings of the design almost a year ago; even on paper it was spectacular. The school has an ultra-modern, angular design, and the inside uses tons of natural light. There are courtyards and other open spaces all over the place. It’s amazing.
The school is actually not complete yet, even now. The common areas are just about done, and two wings are finished. This year, only Freshmen and Sophomores will be attending, and they’ll add a class each year for the next two years to fill it up. I think that’s an awesome situation for the kids who get to attend this year; I think it will make the school spirit run high and it seems like there’s the potential for some great bonding among the student body. Once you take out the possibility of being sold an elevator pass by a Senior, well, that’s a bunch of high school stress gone right there, for a Freshman!
Something else that has been totally wonderful about the process of getting into a new high school is that the younger boy, his classmates, and all of the students who will be there as Sophomores got to play a part in some of the decisions. Once the school name was decided upon, the student body got to vote on the school colors. Once the colors were chosen, they got to vote on the mascot. After that, they got to vote on the fight song, which brings me to yesterday.
Yesterday was the Student Orientation, Student “Dance”, and Parent Orientation. The younger boy had to be there at 4:00 for his orientation. They were given another copy of their fall schedule, they had a pep rally, and they got to walk around to find their locker and their classrooms. At 6:00 we (the parents) arrived for our orientation. We seated ourselves in the sparkly new gymnasium, which was really cool because there is a giant mural with the school mascot being created on the wall of the gym and, while we were there, the artist was actively working on it. It was awesome to watch. The principal (who used to be the principal at the older boy’s school and is a phenomenal and dynamic leader) went over a bunch of things, introduced some of his staff, and then we were treated to the newly formed marching band and flag corps, performing our new fight song. By that point I was teary-eyed with excitement. (You might recall that my visiting the older boy’s high school garners the same emotional reaction.) By the end of the 45-minute session, I could barely contain myself. The excellence that our son will have at his fingertips for the next four years, in teachers, support staff, facilities, technology, and school spirit, is something we will not take for granted: we are very, very lucky.
During our session in the gym, the “dance” was going on. I put that in quotes because it wasn’t really a dance. The kids were not contained to one area of the school, like the cafeteria. That is probably “old school”. There was a DJ who had his booth set up on the upper floor, looking out onto a wide open area where many students were congregating. But they were all over the place. They were outside in the courtyards, in the LMC, just hanging out. The music was super-loud and whether you were outside or inside, you could hear it. Looking around, I had to smile, because the scene was alot like the opening scene in “Grease 2”, during which everyone was singing and dancing around on the school grounds, happily heading into class.
Well, sort of. Instead of music by the Four Tops, the soundtrack was filled with artists like Kid Cudi and Keri Hilson/Kanye/Ne-Yo. I loved it, of course.
And the clothing was way different. And the school was nicer. Shut up, you know what I mean here. It was the VIBE.
The best part of it all? Above all the shiny bells and whistles, I have a fourteen-year-old who is totally psyched about starting high school. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I hope the DJ is available next Thursday…
*By the way, I know there is at least one of you out there who has another favorite song from “Grease 2” and I thought I’d do a public service by saving you the trouble of having to go and search for it. Click here to see my most favorite part of the movie; coincidentally it’s also where I learned to climb a ladder in the sexiest way possible (at 2:15).
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I am glad you are excited about the new school. I am still not ready for back to school and have 100 things to do before hand.
Oh sure YOU'RE ready for school. How do you feel about them attending different schools? Is the district smart enough to know that and avoid scheduling events for different buildings on the same nights at least?
We have 13 days to go, and I have nothing done… no lunchbox (HELP – what do you do for a lunchbox in this day and age?), no uniforms bought, no school supplies bought…. And finding time is going to be a challenge next week. I'm in trouble 🙂 Ok, done venting. Enjoy your readiness for the new school. I do think that's so cool that he'll be the first class to go there and second to graduate!
Sounds like a dream High School! What a great opportunity! Will older boy's high school only have seniors and juniors? I can't believe that you start next week. We don't start to the 3rd which is still early because usually we don't start until AFTER Labor Day!
When I was to be a sophomore in High school they gave us a choice of either staying at the high school we were at or moving to the new high school (which was closer to my home). I picked the new school. We were to be seniors for 3 years— sophomore, junior and our senior year. This was great to me. We also only had 64 kids in my class for graduation. Brand new school was outstanding. I'm sure he will love it.
Good luck to both boys each will have great memories, tell them to enjoy it all they can.
It is great when they are excited to start school isn't it? I am trying to be inspirational too, but a small part is sad to miss all the time we have been spending together.
I can't wait for the Rock-a-Hula luau!
I just finished watching a video about the state of the Detroit public schools and the horrible state of their facilities.
It's nice to get this view from the other end of the spectrum.
It would sure be cool if we kind find a way to give those Detroit parents a similar experience. I think we sometimes forget just how important and inspirational a state-of-the-art facility can be. My daughter's elementary school was completely rebuilt during her time there. I thought I was going to miss the old place, but I was wrong.
I hope its a fantastic new year in the new school!
I'm glad it's looking like a great year. I'm curious about activities for the kids at the new school, will they be freshman/sophomore only? It seems like it would be hard to be competitive in that case.
I'm very jealous, around here we're voting down levies and closing schools, and we're considered one of the wealthier districts. *sigh*
How exciting!! I wish I got to go to a new school. Mine was pretty cool though at the time. We also had courtyards-I think he's really going to like that.
And yay for not having seniors to mess up his freshman year!!!
I'm with WeaselMomma – SO not ready, this summer was so short! Last year, I was very ready – this year not so much.
I suspect I'll also be in tears on the 24th….my baby isn't a baby anymore. 🙁
A new school! How exciting! Makes me almost miss high school . . . NOT! 🙂
a brand new high school…how very cool! They're building one near me that my kids will most likely end up at and I'm tickled that it will only be 8 or 9 years old by the time they get there since the high school I went to was old when my parents were there before me! 🙂
now I have that song stuck in my head!
Going back, back to school again… oh, no, I've gotta go… back to schooool… again…
i know that feeling a squeaky clean, brand new high school! mine was only 2 years old when i started in mine! I LOVED IT!
i bet he will have a BLAST! 🙂
Good luck to both of them this year!
I can't believe it's BACK TO SCHOOL TIME! where did summer go!?!?